Yesterday the Commission for Countering Extremism (CCE) issued a (long) press release that claimed to outline plans to tackle political extremism in Britain. Several papers will be published by academics with input from the public via consultation.
The first sentence of the press release highlighted which extremists will be the subject of the investigations.
“The papers will look at the far right, Islamism, the far left and online extremism.”
Under the heading ‘Other Forms of Extremism’ the CCE stated in the press release that there will be “one paper exploring the tactics and objectives of the far left and their acceptance among the public.”
But, is CCE really looking into “far-left extremism?” In the remainder of the press release, and in associated introductory papers – terms of reference and annexes to terms of reference, there was plentiful discussion of far-right extremism and “Islamist” extremism but “far-left extremism” was mentioned just once across both introductory papers in a sentence on page 13 on the annexes paper.
“Concerns were also raised about the impact of other forms of extremism, such as Hindu extremism, Sikh extremism and Hard Left extremism.”
The single reference to the far-left was in a precis of comments that CCE Lead Commissioner Sara Khan claimed to have heard when travelling around Britain consulting the public on extremism. It was in the final paragraph of such comments, presumably added as an afterthought.
The academics who will investigate “far-left extremism” are Daniel Allington, Siobhan McAndrew and David Hirsh.
Hirsh is a relentless critic of the leftward tendency of the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. In a dramatic letter of resignation from Labour, timed to coincide with the announcement of the CCE investigation, Hirsh declared
“I do not want Jeremy Corbyn to be the next Prime Minister; he is so wedded to antisemitic politics that he has been quite unable to address the antisemitic culture which he imported into the Labour mainstream. And that is linked to his anti-democratic worldview.”
(Aside: Hirsh’s letter complained about Corbyn being “anti-democratic” but Hirsh has given full support to Change UK/Independent Group MPs who are currently stealing parliamentary seats from voters.)
Allington wrote a half-baked conclusion-driven piece on Labour’s electorate support (or not) in 2017 that was expertly debunked on the A Very Public Sociologist blog. Allington demonstrated the popular anti-socialist strategy of refusing to allow logic, reason, didactic narrative, knowledge and intelligence to obstruct an agenda.
McAndrew‘s perceptive qualities were displayed when she described right-wing campaigner against socialism Luke Akehurst as a “moderate Labour activist” in Irrational politics.
Two clear points about the CCE’s choice of “academics” to investigate “far-left extremism.”
- They have been asked to regurgitate smears about Corbyn and his colleagues.
- There will be no investigation of the “far-left.”
One does not need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that CCE’s investigation into “far-left extremism” is an invention and is designed solely as a political tool to attack leftward politics. It is unsurprising that the Tory government’s CCE will join in with the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and on socialism: The possibility of a general election later this year is rising rapidly.